We brought our home design questions to the professionals — seven Corpus Christi interior designers. From tips on finding your specific decor style and insight on honoring the architecture of your home to pointers for selecting a bold wallpaper pattern and trend forecasting for 2024, let their expert advice guide your next home design project.
What interior design trends do you have on your radar? What about trend forecasting for 2024?
Chic to Chic: Designers and clients alike are seeking a balance between minimalism and maximalism and bringing in more detail. We also see a trend towards darker, warmer palettes, organic forms, cast stone and marble. Think texture! Hand-painted modern art and large-scale textured wall panels are incredibly prevalent. We love seeing darker wood tones again, and enjoy mixing them with painted and lighter finishes for a layered look.
What is your best piece of interior design advice applicable to a home of any square footage?
Elizabeth Welsh Interior Design: Prioritize a couple of investment pieces such as high-quality floor coverings, lighting and original art you love that will move with you regardless of where you live. Don’t be afraid to use color. Select colors starting with gray-base undertones (not white). Pay attention to keeping all the color selections equally saturated. Using your rug or art as the wellspring for interior color selections will ensure your choices remain cohesive.
Sarah Gallacher – Neighbor Made Design Co: Shop for pieces that have a common thread to unite your overall space. You’ll start to notice what you naturally gravitate toward, and then you can find a few labels for your style. This doesn’t mean you’re confined to a single style — but it does help you to make decisions if you’re feeling stuck. Figuring out what you love and finding your style can save you time and money.
How should one go about respecting the architecture of their home when it comes to interior design and ensuring there is cohesion between the two?
Elizabeth Welsh Interior Design: Pairing the interior design to complement the exterior architecture honors the energy that initially drew the homeowner to the home. If the architecture falls within a clear period, like Mid-Century Modern, it is appropriate to make selections within the styling of that period’s interiors. If the style of your home is not that clear-cut, consider the scale and proportion of the space relative to the size of furniture you are adding. A standard 8’ ceiling calls for smaller-scale and clean lines whereas living spaces with higher ceilings can accommodate taller, heavier-looking pieces. A well-matched interior naturally complements the architecture of the home.
Wallpaper is really having a moment. How should we go about choosing the “right” design? What if we commit but don’t like the print we chose a year from now?
Chic to Chic: Wallpaper is definitely having a comeback. We are seeing a variety of patterns and colors, including bold florals and geometrics. Follow the architecture of your home as you look. If you are concerned about still liking your choice in a year or so, lean more conservative in your search, and wallpaper the inside of a bookcase or a smaller space such as a powder bath. A beautiful grasscloth is a great option, and can be timeless and add texture and color to a space without tiring of it.
What are a few simple, effective decor or design elements that can elevate a room?
Sarah Gallacher – Neighbor Made Design Co: Two of the most important and inexpensive things you can do to bring to life any space are paint and lighting. The color of the room should set the tone for how you’d like to feel when you walk into that room. The lighting will assist in setting the mood. If the room feels too drab, add some lamps. If the overhead lights are too bright and distracting, add lamps to soften the area and relax your eyes.
When it comes to designing kid-friendly spaces in the home, how do you advise keeping both aesthetics and practicality in mind?
Susan Castor Collection: Create a background that is as maintenance-free as possible. You can create a “kid-friendly” section in the home that makes them feel special while honoring some boundaries from the more adult areas. Work into the design scheme a storage ottoman for toys that looks like and can be used for extra seating. Also, use performance fabrics and rugs that clean easily.
It seems people are moving away from minimalism and natural tones and embracing a more maximalist, color-filled design approach. What advice do you have for designing a space with maximalism in mind?
Susan Castor Collection: Accomplishing this well requires the design skills of an educated and trained interior designer, or else it can become a hodgepodge of color and design that is unnerving and uncomfortable to everyone. I recommend the end result be somewhere in the middle between minimalist color and maximum color and design. Otherwise, it becomes trendy and will need a redesign in about 10 years. Stay away from extremes in either direction. Above all, follow your heart and surround yourself with the things you love.
How do you balance form and function when designing a space and keep both aesthetics and practicality in mind?
Bennett Maddox Designs: My intuition plays a huge part, but it all starts with allowing the architecture to help guide me in my design choices. Then I like to become extremely familiar with my clients’ lifestyles — I pay really close attention to how they live in that space, how they envision living in the newly designed space and where their level of taste lies. Once I figure out all that, I’m able to come up with a concept that is beautifully balanced, in form and function.
What is your advice when someone is drawn to a variety of interior styles or ideas for a particular space?
Bennett Maddox Designs: I look at a home as a family, a group of persons constituting a single household and interacting with each other in their respective positions. This is how I like to look at designing individual spaces under one roof. Rooms within a home (or office) are like relatives. In most families, each member looks different, but they all have similar reoccurring attributes, each one complementing the next. This idea or form of repetition creates spaces that truly go together.